Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 17, 2004
Evangelize to counter dark forces
Married team decry present day paganistic culture
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
There is a need to evangelize the world to counteract the dark forces dominating it, said Catholic evangelist Lloyd Greenhaw.
Speaking to a charismatic audience at Annunciation Church May 8, he said evangelization is the primary mission of the Church and therefore the mission of every Catholic.
"No believer in Christ can avoid this task," he said. "The Lord has always called us to come out of ourselves and to share with others the gifts we possess starting with our most precious gift of all, our Catholic faith."
In his presentation, Greenhaw noted many parallels and similarities between our present day and time and the time of the Lord. At the time of the Lord there was a lot of idol worship and a tremendous amount of paganism. Today we have a new type of paganism in our culture. "The fastest growing religion in the Unites States right now is Satanism," Greenhaw said. "There are satanic cults all over the place; there is a tremendous rise in witchcraft; there is a tremendous rise in the New Age and all these false religions."
Catholics must bring the truth of Jesus Christ to all people to counteract these forces and save the world, he said.
Greenhaw and his wife Nancy are members of Grace Ministries, which they founded in 1991 in response to Pope John Paul's call for a new evangelization. The couple then decided to leave successful careers in order to serve the Church in the full time ministry of Catholic evangelization. Lloyd was a representative for a Fortune 500 Company and Nancy enjoyed a career as an award-winning watercolour artist and teacher.
Together they have ministered through conferences and retreats for adults and youth, prison ministry, and work with the homeless. In conjunction with Renewal Ministries, they have led outreaches, evangelization schools and rallies in Cuba, Africa, Jamaica, and the former Soviet Union. Catholic Renewal Services sponsored the Greenhaws May 7-8 visit to Edmonton, where they made four presentations on Evangelization Here and Far.
Quoting from Pope Paul VI's letter Evangelization in the Modern World, Greenhaw said the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church.
"It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent," he said. "The Church exists to evangelize."
But before trying to evangelize others, the Church must first evangelize itself, Greenhaw said. "We need to be evangelized constantly because we are being evangelized by the world. And so it is necessary for us to be able to come together as Catholics and to be able to share the mighty word of God through the works of the Marian movement, Divine Mercy and charismatic renewal to share the power of God.
"We need to hear the mighty word of God so that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our God is truly the same yesterday, today and forever."
Greenhaw quoted Pope John Paul saying that missionary evangelization is a primary service that the Church can render to every individual and to all humanity.
"The primary service, the holy father said, is bringing our Catholic faith to the people that are dying spiritually for the lack of the Gospel."
Greenhaw said these statements are contained in the pope's 1990 letter, Mission of the Redeemer, which prompted him and his wife to launch their Florida-based Grace Ministries 13 years ago. "I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization," the pope said in the document. This means that we should all get involved in this task, Greenhaw said. "No believer in Christ can avoid this great task to proclaim Christ to all people."
Quoting from Cardinal Ratzinger, Greenhaw said the greatest crisis in the Church today is the emptying of the historical figure of Jesus Christ.
The emptying of Christ
"In other words, what society does and what the world is trying to do is to empty Christ of whom he is, empty everything out of Christ and to make him either into a very nice guy or a transcendent master among other transcendent masters," Greenhaw explained.
And he noted Catholics are being called intolerant almost every time they say that Jesus is the only way that people can be saved.
"They have beaten us in the media. We have been beaten so long and so often and we have not heard the positive affirmation that we need from the pulpit on Sunday," he said.
"We don't want to seem that we are intolerant, we don't want to be rude to other people, and we do not want to impose our views on other people because the holy father says we never impose, that we always propose.
"But we can propose what we have and we have not only the right but we have the responsibility, the duty and obligation to propose Jesus Christ as who he is - the eternal Lord and the saviour," Greenhaw told his audience.